Remarkable Answer to a Routine Prayer

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. – Psalm 91:7

Since being retired and seeing our youngest child leave the nest, I have not yet found myself sitting around looking for something to do, as I had feared I would when I was younger. Rather, I can do those things I used to procrastinate about years ago, when the mantra seemed to be “I don’t have time!” Well, that excuse isn’t going to cut it these days. As surprisingly busy as I am, I can always find time for prayer, if I make it priority – which, of course, I should!

I have friends who will get upset with me if I say I have OCD – “That’s a negative confession!” But having obsessive-compulsive tendencies can serve a useful purpose when a commitment is made. I take my commitments seriously, especially when it comes to my commitments to God. There are certain things I have committed to praying for daily, and as far as I’m concerned, if I committed, I’d jolly well better do it!

One of these “daily” things is “putting on the spiritual armor,” as Paul described in Ephesians 6. Not that I think I’d be spiritually vulnerable if I didn’t “put it on” each day. (After all, I don’t remember ever taking it off.) But it’s a good reminder for me of how God has prepared His children for battle. (He doesn’t need reminding, but I do.) So, meditating on relevant Scripture, I “put on” the belt of truth,” “the helmet of salvation,” and “the breastplate of righteousness,” as I give the Lord my body, my mind, and my heart for the day. As I do, I feel my soul being built up to have a right mindset for whatever happens that day. (Romans 8:5) Someday I’ll write a piece about this process.

“Having my feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15) involves just asking God to send me where He wants me to go that day, letting me encounter the people He wants me to encounter, and speaking the words He wants me to say. This prayer excites me! I never know how it will be answered by the time the day is over.

While Paul calls our faith the shield “that quenches all the fiery arrows of the evil one,” (Ephesians 6:16) the Old Testament tells us God’s faithfulness is a shield and fortress. (Psalm 91:4) God’s faithfulness has been with me – over and around me, shielding me from harm – even longer than my faith. And His faithfulness is what covers the people I love. So, I pray daily for His faithfulness to shield each of my family members and anyone who has been part of our household in the past. (We’ve had some pretty special people living with us through the years.) I also pray for people I once sponsored, wherever they are, that the Lord’s hand is still in their lives.

Finally, I pray a shield around the kids I’m sponsoring now. One of these is Ibra, my teenager in Uganda. I wrote a post about him a while back:

Since Uganda has been on lockdown and schools are not in session, Ibra has been staying with friends in the city of Kampala instead of the orphanage. I trust the Lord is keeping him safe, along with my sponsored children in other countries.

Tuesday morning of last week I got a Facebook message from Ibra, telling me, “… we have lost some Ugandans.” This was due to an attack in the city that killed some, injured others. “ … and this happened when I was in the city and I saw this happen glory to God that I was not affected I was protected by him who lives in me.” He sent me a couple of very gruesome photos, and by the end of the day, when I had heard nothing about this on the American news, a part of me wondered if this had really happened (Teenagers, you know …).

But that evening I googled “bombing in Uganda,” and sure enough, earlier that day in Kampala two bombs had been set off, with people killed and some severely injured. And my kid Ibra saw it up close, but hadn’t a scratch on him! I guess you never know when those “routine prayers” might make a crucial difference.

There have been countless times I’ve traveled, and friends pray for “safe travels” for me, and I don’t usually think much about it, other than, That’s a sweet thought. There have certainly been more urgent prayers in our circles. But occasionally I will arrive at my destination and contact a friend to thank him/her for the prayers – after a semi had come at me and missed me by inches. And I have to wonder, are there other close calls I don’t even know about?

Amy Grant once sang, “God only knows the times my life was threatened just today/ A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way. / Near-misses all around me, accidents unknown,/ Though I’ll never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home.“*

But God sees, and thankfully, He’s got His angels watching over us.

Prayer: Father, thank You for your care and protection as we go about our days, usually oblivious to the enemy’s plans. We’re so grateful we don’t have to live in fear, but we can trust You to bring us to the end of our lives with Your plans for us fulfilled, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

*”Angels Watching Over Me” from the Album “Straight Ahead,” Myrrh Records, 1984

32 thoughts on “Remarkable Answer to a Routine Prayer

  1. I’m 100% with you on this. We DO need to consciously put on the whole armour of Christ. It also helps if we know our vulnerabilities so we can especially focus on the piece of armour we will need to protect us here. For me, it’s my mind. I need the helmet of salvation to remind me of who I am in Christ, and to remind me that I need to take every rebel/ unholy thought captive. Also, that I have a sound mind (and, in fact, I can ask the Holy Spirit to give me the mind of Christ.) Thanks for this post!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I spend pretty much time on that one, too. I need the “helmet” to deflect the enemy’s lies, temptations, distractions, accusations, and threats. The mind is the battlefield for me – the place where I make my decisions, like the decision to obey God’s Word and not let my emotions define me or run my life.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My wife and I make a practice of donning the armor together, in each morning’s prayer. We recognize that we are in a war, and the enemy is ruthless. God would not have provided armor that we don’t need. Thankful about Ibra’s safekeeping!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. As I am writing my memoir, I’m seeing this more and more. So many times in my life I was saved from danger in the nick of time. The same is true of my children and grandchildren, whom I pray for every day. About a year ago, a massive oak tree fell and landed just inches away from the room where my daughter was sleeping, at something like 3 o’clock in the morning. There are so many examples of God’s providence and protection that I know about, and I am sure there are many more I don’t know about.

    Meanwhile, I keep praying for the Lord to help me finish writing my memoir. In His time, and according to His will. It may be that the Lord only wants me to write it so I can learn and heal and grow in the process. But if my story can help just one other person to find healing and salvation, it will all be worth it!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. There are times like you mentioned, things have just worked out or we have been protected and I know those routine prayers are key.
    Thank you for sharing this reminder of the power in prayer. It may feel routine but prayer is prayer and it is powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, Barb. I noticed a while back that while our faith is a shield according to Ephesians, God’s faithfulness is our shield and fortress, according to Psalm 91. So, we can pray that shield over/ fortress around our loved ones, even if they aren’t believers (yet😉).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I was thinking of that Amy Grant song before I reached it in your post! I also love it that you’re sponsoring kids; we started it when our kids were little and are still doing it. I’m thankful that the Lord kept Ibra safe–and even more thankful that he gave glory to God!

    By the way, I had not heard the term “negative confession” before; interesting phrase.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In the 70’s there was a “faith” movement, where some Christians believed “What you say is what you get.” We were supposed to say nothing but ” positive confessions” – claim what we wanted, and God would give it to us. That’s a pretty simplistic summary, but there were a lot of people who claimed their prayers were answered that way. I’m more of a “Thy will be done” person, since God knows WAY more than I do. 😏

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Jim, you’ve probably read about my daily prayers against terrorism. The other day I came across a folder with the stories I had clipped about times those prayers were answered – bombs that were duds, terrorists caught, and (my favorite) a suicide bomber who went into a church that was showing the “Jesus” film, planning to kill everyone there. And ended up getting saved. 😃 I had forgotten how many of those stories I had saved, but the folder is quite full! “To God be the glory!”

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you again Ann for a message that God wanted me to know and used you to pass it on.
    Praying the Lord watches over and keeps you safe until we see each other again.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I too have seen the evidence of God’s hand at work in the lives of our family and in those of others–protection, provision, guidance, and blessings beyond belief! He is an attentive, caring Father!

    Liked by 1 person

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